Interview with Sergio Jaramillo about the peace processes of the government of Gustavo Petro – Peace Process – Politics

Sergio Jaramillo was the High Commissioner for Peace during the administration of President Santos who signed the peace accord with the FARC-EP. In this capacity, he hosted the first visit of the United Nations Security Council in May 2017. “They were happy,” he recalls.

“It’s been a long time since this kind of process has happened anywhere.” At that time, the country became a global reference to show that negotiated resolution of armed conflicts is possible. Today the third tour of this UN agency is officially starting.

(Also: Key to the first day of the UN Security Council agenda in Colombia).

What does the UN Security Council visit to Colombia mean?

It is very important. The Council’s support has been decisive in keeping the agreement afloat amid so many storms. There comes a critical moment when it is necessary to take a decision.

(Read: This is how the multi-donor peace fund announced by the government and ELN will work).

Sergio Jaramillo, Ambassador to Brussels

Carlos Ortega/El Tiempo

In what form?

There is a window to relaunch the process. The new Commissioner Otti Patiño is a man of great experience and wisdom, he clearly believes that the focus should be on restoring peace building in the regions. The government also has a lot of money, with a little effort and coordination, it could have a greater impact on implementation and reconnect with communities who feel abandoned. Without a strong emphasis on implementation, I fear this agreement will not survive the next government. It’s a bit like “now or never”.

But the council sees the agreement as a success story…

Yes, and that’s right too. It was a brutal effort and in many ways it has been successful, even providing lessons for other conflicts. Consider, for example, the brutal war in Gaza. Whatever Netanyahu says, at some point Israel will have to withdraw its troops from Gaza and allow a verification system to be established, which has been largely absent from peace processes in the Middle East. The trilateral monitoring and verification system that we agreed to in Havana could be an option. Also for the cessation of hostilities in Ukraine, which will come one day. That’s all true. But the council can neither get caught up in the “success story” nor lose sight of the problems.

(You may be interested: The leader of the extinct FARC threatens to deviate from the decisions of the JEP).

In what form?

No doubt, the main ones are the security setback and the lack of implementation of Point 1 of the agreement. It’s a vicious cycle: without security it is much more difficult to run programs and work with communities, and without investment, job creation and state presence, security deteriorates. The ambition of the agreement was always to bring forward the arguments for regional integration and social inclusion, and this is the pending issue. In practice, nothing like this has happened.

Completion of the sixth cycle ELn

Vera Grebe, head of the government delegation, and Pablo Beltrán, supreme representative of the ELN.


Eliana Aponte. Time


Let me give an example. The country has been embroiled in a bitter discussion regarding the health system for a year., There is no doubt about one thing: where the EPS system does not reach are low-density rural areas. That is why in the agreement we have committed to launch a National Rural Health Plan to bridge that gap. And see: 7 years after the signing of the agreement, this is the only national plan that has not even been approved by the concerned ministry. Neither Minister Guillermo Alfonso Jaramillo nor any of the above care about rural areas, where the real problem is health provision.

(Other recommended news: Why is extending the ceasefire important for the peace process with the ELN?)

Who answers?

What it should be drawing attention to is the UN Verification Mission, and it does not do so because it stopped verifying some time ago. Example: Point 1 contains a concrete and verifiable target, perhaps the most important of the Agreement, which is to reduce rural poverty by 50 percent over a period of 15 years as a result of the implementation of national plans. There is not a word in any mission report about whether this goal is being achieved or not.

Dissidents of the Central General Staff, dissidents, dissidents of the FARC

Ernesto Guzman. efe


What they call in English hurts the mission mission creep, which is taking on tasks and functions that have little or nothing to do with its core mission, and has fallen short of its mandate. This is a very serious issue which the Council should evaluate during its visit, because it is causing a lot of damage. And the first responsibility of the international community in any peace process is exactly this: Adhere to the sacred principle of “do no harm”.

For you, in what cases has there been a loss?

Look what is happening with the so called ‘Central General Staff’. The main reason that this process existed with that group is that the leadership of the mission, without any order from the Council, took the responsibility of providing the logistics to transfer the commanders and to give all the political support for negotiations with the dissidents from the very beginning. decision made. They are failing to abide by the peace agreement and killing former combatants. this is madness. If, after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, the international community had decided to abandon that agreement and devote itself to establishing negotiations with the Real IRA dissidents who emerged months later, they would have been forced out of Belfast. Would have happened.

(In context: ‘Whether the ELN is banned or not, kidnappings must end’: United Nations).

Sergio Jaramillo and Timoshenko

Sergio Jaramillo and Timoshenko.

Why did the matter reach this point?

Conversation created a monster. A report by the Ideas for Peace Foundation stated that this contributed to the integration and coordination of regional commanders, who in most cases did not even know each other. They were part of dozens of local dissidents who are being strengthened through talks.


South of Meta, in the same area the Council has already visited, they are desperate. The dissidents forced everyone over the age of 14 to carry a card, demanded that all farms have a radio and reports, recruited young people and established “Peasant Guards” for control. And while they move forward in consolidating regional control, they mask a glorified negotiation with international support.

In the agreement we committed to launch a National Rural Health Scheme. This has not been done. Neither Minister Guillermo Alfonso Jaramillo nor previous ministers care about rural areas

El Caguan was a type of…

Pretty much everything, except it’s not happening in just 5 municipalities. President Petro is in a similar position to Pastrana in the early 2000s. The question is whether the President, like Pastrana, will let the government get away with it instead of moving forward on his social agenda. I think he is a far more intelligent man, and he still has more than half his government ahead of him. This is a time to review and discard what won’t work.

Finally, what message do you leave for the council?

Don’t leave us alone. The Colombia Peace Agreement was a huge effort and achievement for all of us that we cannot let go to waste. Above all, it contains formulas for attacking the structural problems of regional integration that normal politics has no incentive to solve: how to develop a democracy throughout the region that responds equally to the rights of all citizens. Give. I don’t think the current government disagrees with this.

armando neira
El Tiempo Politics Editor
In X: @armandoneira

(TagsToTranslate)Sergio Jaramillo(T)Gustavo Petro

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